World’s 50 Best Bars: London 2021’s big wins
Which three London bars made the cut at the World’s 50 Best Bars awards this year?
At a ceremony held at Camden Roundhouse, the annual World’s 50 best Bars awards crowned the Connaught Bar the winner for the second year running. The bar, housed inside the five-star Mayfair hotel of the same name, is only the second in the awards’ 13-year history to have held on to its first-place triumph for two consecutive years. While its renowned martinis no doubt helped it top the list, the Connaught’s tripod of talent – director of mixology Agostino Perrone, head mixologist Giorgio Bargiani and bar manager Maura Milia – are responsible for its sweeping success. (Book a table soon to experience their magic in action.)
The Connaught Bar, winner of the World's 50 Best Bars 2021
Hot on the heels of the Connaught Bar, in second place, is relative newbie Tayēr + Elementary. Run by Monica Berg (formerly of Oslo’s Himkok) and Alex Kratena (of the Langham’s Artesian bar), the Shoreditch bar turned heads when it opened in 2019; its futuristic workstation and the sheer scientific geekery behind its drinks said this was a place which took mixology seriously.
The World's 50 Best Bars of 2021 were announced in a ceremony on Tuesday 7 December, which saw teams of giddy bar staff from top bars around the world gather to raise a glass together and find out where on the prestigious list they ranked.
Tayēr + Elementary
Among those to make the top 20 were Athens bar The Clumsies, in fourth place, and Barcelona’s dive bar Two Schmucks, in 11th. Both bars have come to London in pop-up form in recent years: Two Schmucks took over Lyaness for a weekend last October and before that, in 2019, the team from The Clumsies treated guests at 100 Wardour Street to classics from its award-winning cocktail menu.
UK titles were surprisingly absent from the wider countdown, with only Erik Lorincz’s Kwãnt, coming in at 31st place, appearing before the top 10. The bar, tucked below Moroccan restaurant Momo in Mayfair, was among the most eagerly anticipated openings of 2019, with Lorincz having already seen the American Bar at The Savoy to first place on the list two years earlier. Given the bar has not been able to reopen since the end of the second lockdown, its appearance at all on this year's list is impressive.
Further down the ladder, Ryan Chetiyawardana’s Lyaness came in at 55, just missing out on a top 50 spot. Under its former identity as Dandelyan, Chetiyawardana’s bar was crowned the World’s Best Bar in 2018.
The other UK bars to make the top 100 – all in London – are Soho’s Swift at 57, Bethnal Green’s Satan’s Whiskers at 73, Haggerston’s A Bar with Shapes for a Name at 77 and the new Nomad Hotel’s Side Hustle bar at 80.